Instant Pot Tonkotsu Broth—An Experiment

Instant Pot Tonkotsu with Fresh Ramen Noodles

Want an alternative to simmering a broth on the stove for like 24 hours? The Instant Pot was my first thought on how to reduce cooking time. I mean, it yields amazing results for most everything. So I did a side by side experiment of tonkotsu simmered on the stove for 24 hours, and a smaller batch done in the Instant Pot on high pressure for 3 hours. 


Was there a difference?

instant pot tonkotsu ramen broth

Stove top

This batch consisted of 6 broiled pig feet & two large onion simmering for 24 hours. As you can see its much cloudier (with lots of suspended gelatin) and lighter in color. This is what you want out of a tonkotsu broth. The flavor is smooth and subtle. 

Pros: Better texture, color, flavor
Cons: Takes 4-8 times as long & you have to keep an eye on it to add water as needed if too much boils off. It also yields a HUGE batch, which you can freeze but isn't always ideal.  

Instant Pot

My instant pot version was a smaller batch, just two broiled pig feet, 1/2 onion and 7 cups of water on high pressure for 3 hours. It's darker in color and more transparent. This means it doesn't have as much gelatin formation. It also didn't reduce as much, which makes total sense since the instant pot doesn't really "reduce" as it cooks like on the stove top. The flavor was a bit smoky and not as smooth. 

Pros: Can be made in an afternoon & is still tasty.
Cons: It's definitely a pork broth, but I wouldn't consider it an authentic tonkotsu broth. 

instant pot tonkotsu ramen broth

This is my first pass at developing an alternative to the long process of stovetop tonkotsu. Compared with the "real thing" I'm not happy with and want to keep developing it a bit more. However, it IS a quicker alternative and it is still quite tasty and doesn't require making such a huge batch. Want to give it a try or improve upon it? Try it out below. 

Instant Pot Tonkotsu Ramen Recipe

Here's my first pass at a quicker alternative to the low and slow method of making tonkotsu broth. 



2 pig feet, split lengthwise
1/2 white onion
7c water



  1. 12 hours before you plan on making your broth, soak the pork in a bowl of cold water and leave the fridge.
  2. When you're ready to make your broth, pat the pork dry, line a baking sheet with tin foil and broil pork, cut side down for 15-20 minutes, until the skin is starting to crisp.
  3. Add pork, onion and water to Instant Pot. Secure lid, set valve to sealing position and set IP to Manual, High Pressure for 3 hours. 
  4. Use the quick release method, strain broth and serve.